Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

@B Smith posted:

I am guessing the answer is "NO," but I thought I would ask those who are better-informed than I am whether the California Zephyr ever included an REA Express or Express Refrigerator car in its consist.

Well, we know that west of Omaha post-1960 the CZ carried heavyweight head end cars, inc a part-RPO -- for example, see Pages 102 and 110 in Frailey's Twilight of the Great Trains -- so it is not improbable that during peak periods an REX car used for storage mail might have shown up.

SZ

The California Zephyr appears very briefly in the background in a noir film from 1955 with Cornell Wilde called "Storm Fear." NYC , SP, ATSF, and PRR trains often appear in old movies, but this is the only glimpse I have ever caught of the CZ in the background of a Hollywood film. Its presence has nothing to do with the movie, and the train just happened to be going by in the distance in a wintry mountain scene for a few seconds when the camera was rolling. But it was instantly recognizable with all the domes and the dull stainless steel sheen caught in this black-and-white B-movie.

@B Smith posted:

The Western Pacific RR historical society website discusses the California Zephyr's baggage cars and says that half of each car's length (about 35 feet) was dedicated to express freight, until REA cancelled its contract for express shipments in 1966.

Thanks for the info.  I am adding a link for those that may be reading this thread.

https://www.wplives.com/passen...ent/baggage-cars.php

A little further research turned up a photo taken in 1962 of a wb CZ with an REA express reefer tucked in behind the three WP F units.  So the correct answer to the OP's question is "Yes".

The WP also experimented with a Flexivan, painted silver and passenger equipped, on the CZ,  and at least one published photo shows that.

SZ

@Steinzeit posted:

A little further research turned up a photo taken in 1962 of a wb CZ with an REA express reefer tucked in behind the three WP F units.  So the correct answer to the OP's question is "Yes".

The WP also experimented with a Flexivan, painted silver and passenger equipped, on the CZ,  and at least one published photo shows that.

SZ

Would love to see the photos you are talking about here and in prior post.  Are any available on the web?  If so please post links.  Thank you!

The photo of the REA car on the WP is in the Trainorders.com website's historical section, for which membership is required.  I would recommend that, as it's a great help in answering historical questions;  indeed, the photo was posted as a reply to a question very similar to what the OP here asked.  The Flexivan reference was also in those replies;  the photo is in the Silver Lady   book.

The Frailey book is a 'must have' [ opinion ] for anyone interested in post-steam long distance passenger trains, not just for the 'what', but, more importantly, for the 'why'.

SZ

@GG1 4877 posted:

Great information and a great question to ask.  I would have guessed the answer no also, but again it goes to show that there is likely a prototype for everything with proper research.

However, I'm pulling my CZ with E5s which isn't totally prototypical either

Are you sure about the CB&Q never using E5s on their portion of the CZ? Remember, when the CZ first began, the CB&Q management thought that the A-B-A sets of F3 units would be "running through", and that was the ONLY reason that the CB&Q purchased A-B-A sets of passenger F3s. As soon as the Burlington management discovered that their F3 units would NOT be "running through", they purchased additional E units (E7As), and moved those A-B-A "passenger units" into freight service (after removing the steam generators and changing the traction motor gearing). Also, since the E5s were the only E B-units, I bet sets of E5s were indeed used on the CZ.

and not sure I want to break that silver line with an REA car.

I'm sure the Burlington management felt the same way, i.e. no head-end stuff on the their portion of the CZ (no mater what the D&RGW or the WP did).

I'm with Hot Water on this.  I need to find it, but Burlington Bulletin #10 from 1983 was all about the E's.  I am pretty darn sure that at some time an E-5 would have pulled the CZ.  I know for certain they were intermixed on the point with later E-units on Burlington passenger trains.

The Q always felt that E's were for passenger service and F's were for freight, fully agree with Hot Water's statement.

At the start of the CZ the D&RGW used PA's but they were unsatisfactory on grades.  The additional "drivers" on F-Unit Sets were better at getting the power to the rails on Up-Grades.  So they and WP used F's.

EMD offered and Q management agreed that F-units were good for moving and accelerating heavy freight trains, but E's were a better solution for Passenger Trains "cruising" across "level" terrain.

@Steinzeit posted:

The photo of the REA car on the WP is in the Trainorders.com website's historical section, for which membership is required.  I would recommend that, as it's a great help in answering historical questions;  indeed, the photo was posted as a reply to a question very similar to what the OP here asked.  The Flexivan reference was also in those replies;  the photo is in the Silver Lady   book.

The Frailey book is a 'must have' [ opinion ] for anyone interested in post-steam long distance passenger trains, not just for the 'what', but, more importantly, for the 'why'.

SZ

Will have to get the Frailey book for sure.  Thanks for the info.

I'm with Hot Water on this.  I need to find it, but Burlington Bulletin #10 from 1983 was all about the E's.  I am pretty darn sure that at some time an E-5 would have pulled the CZ.  I know for certain they were intermixed on the point with later E-units on Burlington passenger trains.



I have that issue at home and will take a look this evening.  It's been a few years since I reviewed it, so I was hasty in my prior statement.  I just made the assumption that in 1949 when the CZ started service that E7s would have gotten the assignment after the F3s got pulled off the train, but of course I should know better and do my research first! 

The part of the E5 story that always sticks out for me is their final assignment pulling coal drags out of Pueblo before being traded into EMD on SD40s in 1967.  An indignant end to what was in the top three of the most aesthetically pleasing, if not the most pleasing of all the E units. 

Another good resource is "The Story of the California Zephyr" by Karl R. Zimmerman. On page 78 is photo of CZ in 1969 behind Rio Grade F units with two foreign cars (non CZ) behind the baggage car. This book contains a good account of the California Zephyr and its predecessors and has elevations and floor plans of all the cars.

@GG1 4877 posted:

Great information and a great question to ask.  I would have guessed the answer no also, but again it goes to show that there is likely a prototype for everything with proper research.

However, I'm pulling my CZ with E5s which isn't totally prototypical either and not sure I want to break that silver line with an REA car.  

Jonathan - "Dug-out" Burlington Bulletin #10 today.  On page 26 picture of CZ in Aug 1962 pulling the train (in order from front) E8, E5-B, E7.

On page 8 shows the Sam Houston Zephyr pulled by E5, E7 (E5 on point).

On pages 12 and 13 there are photos showing E5's on point with "newer" trailing power.

The Q converted shovelnose units 9904-9907 to boosters in 1951.  On page 23 it shows the Denver Zephyr being pulled by E8, 9905 booster.

So no Pictures of E5 on point of the CZ, but the way Q used it's E's would bet it was done at some point.

I'm with Hot Water on this.  I need to find it, but Burlington Bulletin #10 from 1983 was all about the E's.  I am pretty darn sure that at some time an E-5 would have pulled the CZ.  I know for certain they were intermixed on the point with later E-units on Burlington passenger trains.

The Q always felt that E's were for passenger service and F's were for freight, fully agree with Hot Water's statement.

At the start of the CZ the D&RGW used PA's but they were unsatisfactory on grades.  The additional "drivers" on F-Unit Sets were better at getting the power to the rails on Up-Grades.  So they and WP used F's.

I'm a bit curious as to where you came up with that statement that Alco PAs "were unsatisfactory on grades"? For example, the Southern Pacific specifically assigned their PA units to passenger trains over Donner Pass and over the Cascade Mountain Grades to Portland, OR. Also, the Santa Fe conducted performance tests between their new Alco PA units and new EMD F3 sets. They found that the Alco PA consists could effectively start a passenger train on VERY steep grades, while the EMD F3 consists exhibited much wheel slip and struggled starting equivalent passenger trains.

Remember, Alco PA units, as well as FA units, had the much larger GE traction motors, and were thus capable of using higher starting currents, than the EMD traction motors.

EMD offered and Q management agreed that F-units were good for moving and accelerating heavy freight trains, but E's were a better solution for Passenger Trains "cruising" across "level" terrain.

Reply to Hot Water.

That's interesting.  I don't remember where I read it, but years ago I read that explanation as to why the Rio Grande replaced the PA's with EMD F-units.  I agree that the traction motors in the Alco were more powerful than in EMD locos.   So if the reason I gave is incorrect, I'm sorry, didn't mean to misinform.  The fact is D&RGW did ultimately prefer EMD power.  I read that the PA's were generally given other assignments after the F-7's arrived.  The CZ of course started operating in 1949.

D&RGW only had (2) PA/PB/PA sets.  PB's were converted to steam generator cars in 1965.  PA's retired in 1967.

In 1950 they received (10) F-7 ABBA sets.

I have a couple of framed pictures hanging up of the Rio Grande Zephyr taken in 1975 and they ran it using CZ cars with EMD F-9's right until the end in 1983.

So the Rio Grande did (mostly) use F-units on their portion of the route from 1950 to 1983.

Last edited by MainLine Steam

Add Reply

Post

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
www.ogaugerr.com

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×